US U-18s fall to France in Israel tourney opener
The United States Under-18 squad conceded in the 20th, 55th and 88th minutes on Tuesday, falling 3-0 to France in the opening match of a four-team tournament in Tel Aviv, Israel.
On the afternoon, the Americans managed just one shot on net to their opponent’s five. Jeremy Obin, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Alassane Plea tallied for Les Blues.
US head coach Mike Matkovich’s starting XI featured Chicago Fire Home Grown player Victor Pineda, as well as four members of MLS academies: FC Dallas duo Boyd Okwuonu and Mike Ambrose, and Bryan Gallego and Daniel Metzger from the New York Red Bulls Academy. Second-half substitutes Sean Okoli (Seattle Sounders Academy), Will Trapp (Columbus Crew Academy) and Jonathan Top (FC Dallas Academy) also figured in the proceedings, as did Tigres UANL player Juan Pablo Ocegueda.
Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jonathan Kempin got a night off after a busy month that saw him starting for the U-20 side against Mexico and Colombia during last month's Torneo de las Americans in Atlanta.
The US will get a chance to bounce back on Thursday as they play hosts Israel, who lost 7-0 to Germany in the day’s other affair. The Americans will finish the tournament on Friday against the Germans.
USA: 18-Andrew Wolverton; 3-Boyd Okwuonu, 6-Bryan Gallego, 2-Walker Zimmerman, 4-Juan Ocegueda; 9-Khiry Shelton (19-Sean Okoli, 62), 17-Jordan McCrary, 7-Mike Ambrose (11-Will Trapp, 62), 12-Daniel Metzger (20-Jonathan Top, 75), 14-Victor Pineda (16-Connor Hallisey, 66); 10-Luis Rendon (15-Cooper Vandermaas-Peeler, 66)
Subs not used: 1-Jonathan Kempin, 5-Jonathan Campbell, 8-Villyan Bijev, 13-Marcus Salandy-Defour
Head Coach: Mike Matkovich
FRA: 1-Kevin Crepel; 17-Youssouf Sabaly, 5-Prince Desir Gouano, 13-Jeremy Obin, 4-Samuel Umitit; 9-Arnaud Honore, 8-Geoffrey Kondogbia (6-Hadji Ba El, 66), 3-Alvin Arrondel, 12-Lucas Digne; 10-Anthony Koura (18-Igor Rey, 64), 2-Dimitri Foulquier (14-Alassane Plea, 71)
Subs not used: 7-William Le Pogam, 11-Dylan Deligny, 15-Elliott Sorin, 16-Maxine Dupe
Coach: Pierre Mankowsi
Noah Davis covers the United States national team for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter at @noahedavis.
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